October 2, 2017 | Rob Hirschberg
Alpine’s Industrial Battery Maintenance Tips
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No smoking or open flames near batteries. An open flame near a battery or charging station can cause a fire or an explosion.
Wear protective clothing and PPE (personal protective equipment) when operating on batteries. Batteries contain corrosive chemicals that can burn eyes and skin, therefore it is important to wear personal protective equipment to prevent contact and splashes and should including rubber gloves, safety glasses, steel toe boots and more.
Keep the battery clean and dry at all times. If a battery is wet when connected to a battery charger then it becomes an electrocution hazard. The battery will also self-discharge due to voltage tracking.
Keep metal objects away from battery. To avoid electric shock and burns, remove metal jewelry and keep metal objects away from the battery.
Always turn off the charger prior to disconnecting the battery. All chargers must be turned off before disconnecting a battery because live electricity can spark and become a source of ignition.
Clean and neutralize batteries regularly.
Limit discharge to 80% of the battery’s rated capacity. You lead acid traction battery is rated to either 1200 or 1500 cycle to 80% depth of discharge. When the battery is discharged beyond 80% the life cycle expectancy is significantly reduced, instead of lasting at least 5 years (single shift, 5 day a week operation), your battery may only last 2. Over discharging also causes electrical issues with your lift truck, overheating electrical circuits, bowing fuses etc. In some instances, the charger will not recognize the battery for a recharge and you will need expensive battery repairs.
Only add water to batteries. Always use distilled water or water that is known to be free of abnormally high amount of impurities after charging. Never add acid or other solutions.
Ensure all battery vent caps or watering injectors are in place and tight. If the caps or injectors are taken off or open then droplets of acid and water can form on the battery causing electrical shorts.
Only authorized representatives should service the batteries and chargers in a battery room.
Please reference OSHA Standard 1926.441 for battery safety compliance.
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